Conor Hockett

The Ball State men's basketball team pulled off possibly its biggest win of the season against Buffalo on Saturday.

After the Cardinals built momentum throughout December and January on the back of a seven-game winning streak, all of it vanished when Ball State followed it up with four straight losses.

With everything riding against them, it was hard to predict a strong performance for the Cardinals against the 14-6 Bulls, who were on a six-game winning streak.

But from the tip, Ball State fans saw the team that started off Mid-American Conference play with a 5-0 record.

Junior forward Pierre Sneed said there was something different with the team. There was a mental edge.

"Malik Perry, the captain of our team, pulled us over in practice and the game and kept saying three things," Sneed said. "We need to be mentally and physically ready. We need to be ready to compete. And we need to be ready to rebound. And when I saw he kept saying them, he told us a lot."

Sneed said Perry pounded a winning attitude into his teammates' heads, saying the mentality of the team was so different before the Buffalo game that Ball State practiced the routine it usually does after wins at the beginning of the game.

It paid off. The Cardinals' one-point victory earned them a potentially important tiebreaker over the Bulls at the end of the season.

Sneed said the same mistakes the Cardinals made in the four-game losing streak won't be made again. He attributed the team's four consecutive losses to a lack of discipline.

"The focus in practice this week is to make sure we go hard and not take things for granted," Sneed said. "If we take it for granted, you see what happens. We are a good team, but we still have a lot to work on."